I have a home theater receiver with a powered subwoofer output and a matching passive subwoofer. I've always connected these two items using speaker wire.

Recently I moved into a place that has passive in-wall speakers. There is a faceplate with speaker connections. The in-wall speakers do not include a subwoofer.

There is a single RCA port on the speaker input faceplate and an RCA connection in another part of the room for the subwoofer. This would be perfect if I were using a powered subwoofer, but I'm not - and I would prefer to not have to purchase a new subwoofer and new receiver.

My preference, if possible, is to run from the receivers red/white connectors to the RCA port and then from the other end of the RCA port back to the red/white connectors on the subwoofer.

Is this possible? How would I got from speaker wire to an RCA connector?

Yes, I could just use the subwoofer as I have previously but then I'll lose the benefit of being able to easily hide it away in a corner. This is what I will do if I can't use existing wire run.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It all depends on wattage ratings for the RCA \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Apr 8, 2015 at 21:07
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ An RCA connector can handle a surprising amount of power. The real limit will be the gauge of the wire in the wall connecting the jacks on the two panels. Can you open either one up and see what they used? \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Apr 8, 2015 at 21:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ An RCA port is or should be a line input. I would investigate that thoroughly before attaching a power amplifier to it. \$\endgroup\$
    – user207421
    Apr 9, 2015 at 3:37

1 Answer 1


You need to see what size of wire was used for that subwoofer connection. If it is small-gauge audio cable, that pretty much rules it out for carrying any significant power levels.

Generally speaking, an RCA connector is good several Amps of current. I quite like that connector - it is robust and reliable in long-term use. RCA connectors are often used as speaker connectors in consumer applications.

But the interconnect wire is quite something different. If you are lucky, the wiring was installed by a professional who used shielded twisted pair #22 AWG or so. If you aren't lucky, someone went to a local consumer store and purchased a cheap RCA extension cord - these can have conductor size as small as #28 AWG - with a really crappy shield.

15 Feet of #22 wire is good for tens of Watts.

But: the cable from the amplifier to your subwoofer should be much larger than those. I would normally install either #14 AWG or even #10 AWG, depending on how much power you plan to feed to the speaker.


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